Wayne White

Wayne White Bear, 74, of White Shield, passed away January 21, 2024, in Garrison, ND.

Wake Services will begin at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the Old Ralph Wells Complex, White Shield, ND.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at the Old Ralph Wells Complex, White Shield, ND. Burial to follow at the Arickara Congregational Cemetery, White Shield.

Tex was born in Elbowoods on September 17, 1949, to Joseph White Bear Jr and Pauline Bear-White Bear. His paternal grandparents are Joseph White Bear Sr. and Eleanor White Bear-Chase, maternal grandparents are Robert and Dora Bear. He often spoke of his early childhood and “living on the bottom” in Nishu & Elbowoods, after the flood of the dam he lived in White Shield, Bear Den in the and Mandaree area.

He was proud and honored to have been raised by an Arikara Chief, his grandfather, Robert, and grandma Dora. Though he would never boast, from them he was taught and lived “the old way” in his early childhood and continued living in the traditional Arikara mindset that passed on to his children and grandchildren.

Living in Bear Den with his paternal grandparents, he was raised to be a cowboy. He and his brother Drew Hopkins were taught by his dad to brake horses on the ranch. While living in Bear Den, he learned how to be a horseman from his dad, Joe Jr., and grandfather Frank Chase, who was married to Eleanor after Joseph Sr.’s passing. Tex was given the nickname “Ooftah:” from Grandpa Frank. Throughout his “cowboy” years he participated in family rodeos including Bear, Charging, and the Six Mile Creek on Sundays. He was his Grandpa Robert’s “right-hand-man”.

Gary Dickens was a life-long brother and friend to Tex. Since they were seniors in high school, they have been deacons of the church. Side-by-side they maintained and supported the Arikara Congregational Church, they often split the duties into “down south” and “in town”. This is a true testament to each of their commitment and dedication to not only the church, but also the community through the years as they were often seen at powwows, basketball games, and playing bingo together. During the last few months Gary would visit and sit with Tex no matter which hospital and we Thank you, Gary.

Tex graduated High School in 1968 in White Shield, here he gained the nickname “Dancing Bear” when he played basketball, it was even printed in the newspaper under a picture of him dancing! By 1969 he went to Dallas Texas to participate in the Relocation Program where he was learning the welding trade. He was proud to have worked for the state road crew for four years. During this time, he helped pave the road from Garrison to Washburn. For 16 years he worked with the BIA road development and participated in building Route 18. In the late 1970s to early 1980s, Tex was employed in Washington state with Eagles Nest working on road construction. Another nickname earned during working construction was “Big Moe”.

From his work with the cattle range & land leases, he was very knowledgeable with Fort Berthold’s land allotments. You could give him land description numbers or describe where land was across all of Ft. Berthold and he could tell you who the family was, where the land was, and what it looked like in the area. 

In 1977 he married Beverly Ross and started his family with his own son, Timothy and daughter, Caroline. From this union he gained his bonus children, Tina, Lynn, Ava, and Mike. He was a proud dad to all his children. Caroline was his baby girl and Timothy the apple of his eye. Not including extended family, Tex has two sons, six daughters, six grandsons, 10 granddaughters, 15 great-grandsons, 8 great-granddaughters, and one great-great-grandson. Though they were divorced for many years before the grandchildren came, Tex and Beverly would always come together for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, and many other celebrations over the years. The grandchildren were his life and from them, Tex was bestowed the greatest nickname of them all, “Papa Bear”.

Tex enjoyed supporting all his children and grandchildren in sports, concerts, birthdays, and any other celebrations or interests in the best way possible, by always showing up to let them all know he was there for them. He cheered the loudest and always gave a hug with the message of “good job, I’m proud of you”. He was awarded an award from the White Shield School for being such a supporter of sporting events for all his relatives. Though his health had diminished, he continued to express his love for and ask about each of the Babies, right until his final days.

In his later years, his favorite hobby was to play bingo. You would often see him making his way to the “Rama” in Minot, either alone, or with John LaCroix or his sister Donna Mae. Tex was an avid supporter of the community and always participated in fundraising by playing or buying prizes, but a lot of times both. He was always on the road and made friends along the way. Thankfully, Tru Community Bank (formerly Garrison State Bank & Trust) were good friends to him and took care of him and all the stops he made to made sure the Bingo “wab” was ready. 

The family was taught to and kept his health private, as he would have wished. Since September of 2023 his health unfortunately went downward and he was in and out of hospital care, even though his will to live was strong he slowly succumbed to his illnesses. The Bismarck Sanford Hospital, Garrison Hospital, Minot Trinity Hospital, and Benedictine Community Living staff took excellent medical care of Tex by making sure the service was to the best of their respective abilities. The Family thanks each facility for their professionalism and above-and-beyond medical and nursing care they provided. He was surrounded by family at the time of his passing on the early morning of January 21, 2024, at the Benedictine Living Community in Garrison. 

Tex was a very kind-hearted man who loved family and friends deeply and wasn’t afraid to show it or let you hear it. He was very generous, not only supporting his family and community but National Organizations as well. At Christmas all the grandchildren received a card with money to buy themselves something.  He liked to tell jokes and have good company over good coffee. He may have given you heck at some point, but he would have done so out of love. That ever strong, never wavering presence will be missed by everyone he touched and had an impact on for many years to come. 

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